Dr. J.R. Rizzo is a physician scientist at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation Institute, where he is an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a cross-appointment in the Department of Neurology. He leads the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory where his team focuses on eye-hand coordination as it relates to acquired brain injury and the Technology Translation in Medicine Laboratory, where the focus is on assistive technology for the visually impaired and benefits from his own personal experiences with vision loss. He recently completed an R03 grant through the National Institute of Aging, as a GEMSSTAR Scholar, focusing his research goals on eye-hand coordination in elderly stroke, and is completing a K12 award, as an RMSTP Fellow, focusing on visuomotor integration in brain injury. He has funding at the federal, state, municipal and foundational levels. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, in addition to domestic and international patents filed for his rehabilitation tools. An honors graduate in neuroscience at NYU, he completed medical school on scholarship at New York Medical College and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor’s Society Iota Chapter. He completed his residency, including a chief year, at NYU’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Program where he subsequently was awarded funding to complete a clinical research fellowship at Rusk.
In the first part of a grand rounds presentation, Dr. Rizzo discussses eye-hand coordination or what is known as the eye-hand mystique. He describes perception, the ocular motor system, perception to action, and eye-hand control deficits as they relate to visual motor integration. He discusses visual crowding as it pertains to peripheral vision and the importance of material categorization. He also describes research involving chronic stroke patients recruited from outpatient clinics using eye tracking and simultaneously recording motion capture of their actual limbs. The session includes questions from attendees at the presentation and his responses.
In the second part of a grand rounds presentation by Dr. John Ross Rizzo on December 12, 2018 at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Health, he continued his description of a pilot research project involving chronic stroke patients who were recruited from outpatient clinics. The investigation included eye tracking while simultaneously recording motion capture of patients’ limbs. He indicated how eye errors correlated with limb errors in this study and mentioned some cognitive implications derived from the project. For example, in reaching for a cup of tea there could be an eye movement that has some computational load, meaning what is the cerebral load to complete that task and what is involved if the reaching is done using peripheral vision? In this context, it is worth considering what is occurring in the presence of an impaired brain, such as after a stroke. A central idea is that stroke interferes with cognitive resource sharing between eye and hand movement during eye-hand coordination. A question and answer period followed his presentation.